With the 2010 NFL Draft finally in the books, who came away with the best selections? There is great controversy over most picks in the draft. Although opinions may vary, here is my take on the five best and five worst picks of the NFL Draft. These are in no particular order.
The Five Worst:
Drafted by: St. Louis Rams
Pick: No. 1 Overall
Now, I understand that scouts believe that Sam Bradford is an NFL-ready quarterback. He has the decision-making ability, arm strength, and accuracy to succeed.
But I can’t help but wonder if last season’s injury-plagued season will cause the former Sooner quarterback problems at the next level. Bradford claims that his shoulder is better than ever. Even if it feels alright now, there is a chance that extended wear and tear could re-injure his arm. Although the Rams desperately needed a quarterback, they probably could have waited on Colt McCoy or another quarterback in the second or third round.
In addition, defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh was available. I believe that he was a better value for the Rams.
Plus, quarterbacks taken with the first overall pick haven’t had great success in recent years. Two perfect examples are Alex Smith of San Francisco and Matthew Stafford of Detroit. I realize that Stafford hasn’t had much time to mature. But, he was not any better than Dante Culpepper, who is far over the hill and shouldn’t even be a backup in the NFL, let alone a starter.
There are just too many question marks in order to justify taking Bradford with the first overall pick of the draft. He will not succeed as an NFL quarterback.
Position: Offensive Tackle
Drafted by: Washington Redskins
Pick: No. 4 Overall
I have no major issue with Trent Williams as a player. He will be an NFL-caliber offensive tackle.
However, I do have an issue with him being taken over fellow offensive tackle Russell Okung. Williams is not known for his work ethic, while Okung is known as a hard worker. I understand that working hard is not everything, but over time it will show in Okung’s game.
Williams may be better than Okung right now, but Washington will regret this pick a few years down the road.
Then again, it may not matter what offensive lineman the Redskins selected. Donovan McNabb will probably get hurt anyway.
Position: Defensive End
College: South Florida
Drafted by: New York Giants
Pick: No. 15 Overall
Pierre-Paul has great potential as a pass-rusher. His skill set is undoubtedly very good.
Unfortunately for New York, he has limited experience. Pierre-Paul only started playing football during his junior year of high school.
In addition, he only has one season of experience in the FBS. Obviously, this will slow him down early in his career.
Many claim that he will ultimately mature and become a great defensive player through his skill set.
Although Pierre-Paul will become better as he gains game experience, he will still lack the experience that most NFL players have from playing football throughout high school and college. That could mean around five or more extra years to mature.
By the time he does acquire his experience, Pierre-Paul’s skills will have diminished. He will be in the decline of his career. Those that claim that he will reach his full potential are wrong. Jason Pierre-Paul won’t reach his ceiling in his NFL career.
Drafted by: Kansas City Chiefs
Pick: No. 50 Overall
To me, Arenas is the defensive version of former Miami Dolphins' wide receiver Ted Ginn.
Both are explosive and both have value on special teams as kick returners.
However, neither is good at his assigned position. Ginn is not a solid wide receiver thanks to his size and hands (or lack thereof).
The same applies to Javier Arenas. He is not a true cornerback. Arenas is undersized and doesn’t cover well enough to succeed at the NFL level.
Although he can deliver a big hit regularly and is a very good athlete, there is a lot more to being an NFL cornerback than those skills. Arenas lacks too many intangibles of an NFL cornerback to succeed at the next level.
Position: Defensive Tackle
Drafted by: Baltimore Ravens
Pick: No. 57 Overall
I happened to notice that I have selected two players each from Alabama and Oklahoma for this list. I just wanted to clarify that I have nothing against either school. There is no bias whatsoever in these lists.
At Alabama, Cody was a wall on the defensive line. Known as “Mount Cody,” he swallowed up ball carriers and was a leader of the Crimson Tide defense.
But, does that success translate to a successful NFL career?
Cody was drafted by the Baltimore Ravens, a defense known for its intensity and hustle. However, one of his biggest issues for scouts was his lack of stamina. I don’t believe that he will fit in well with the Ravens’ style of intense defense. Although Baltimore has many options on defense, Cody will not be one of them.
The Five Best
Position: Defensive Tackle
Drafted by: Detroit Lions
Pick: No. 2 Overall
This one is fairly self-explanatory to me. The Lions got the best player in the draft with the second pick.
Simple logic tells us that they made a good pick.
Suh will have an impact in the NFL and will bolster a poor Detroit defense. Last season, the Lions gave up 392.1 total yards per game, the worst in the league. Suh should help them improve on that number. He will stop the run and be able to get after the quarterback as a pass rusher.
Picking the best defensive player in the draft cannot be a bad thing for the worst defensive team in the NFL.
Position: Running Back
Drafted by: Buffalo Bills
Pick: No. 9 Overall
Spiller was the best running back in the 2010 NFL Draft. He was a major part of Clemson’s offense last season. Currently, Spiller holds 31 different school records.
In addition, he also holds four ACC records and three NCAA records, including the most kickoff returns for touchdown in a career, with seven.
Spiller has the explosiveness that Buffalo has lacked offensively for the past few seasons. He can change the course of the game with just one play. C.J. can come out of the backfield as a receiver, return kicks, and even line up in the slot from time to time.
The Bills’ current running backs, Fred Jackson and Marshawn Lynch are good options. Spiller probably won’t overtake them to become the starter at running back.
However, both backs are better known for their ability to grind out yards on the ground. They lack that explosiveness that Spiller provides.
Even if C.J. is not in on every play, he will have an immediate impact for the Buffalo offense.
Position: Wide Receiver
College: Oklahoma State
Drafted by: Dallas Cowboys
Pick: No. 24 Overall
Bryant is a very good receiver. He has the size and talent to make it at the NFL level.
The main issue with Dez is his off-the-field issues. Last season, he was suspended on October 7th and did not play for the remainder of the year. These issues could lead to further troubles in the NFL. Also, Bryant’s lack of on-the-field action may hurt him as a player.
However, despite those concerns, there are no questions about his talent. Bryant has legitimate top ten draft pick potential. When that kind of player falls to you late in the first round, it can be hard to resist.
There are several reasons to believe that Dez will be another first round bust.
There are also several reasons to believe that he will be a success. He has the ability. Although it may take some time, Bryant will eventually mature and become a solid NFL wide receiver.
Drafted by: Denver Broncos
Pick: No. 25 Overall
I know, I know.
Tebow is not an NFL-ready quarterback, his delivery is all wrong, and he has poor footwork.
Keep in mind that in Denver, he will not be required to be the starting quarterback. Kyle Orton will most likely have that duty.
Tebow will most likely run the Wildcat and may throw some passes from time to time. He is a big player that still has speed. In addition, Tebow is very creative. That will be a good asset in the Wildcat offense.
Also, many people criticize Tebow for openly voicing his Christian beliefs. That should not happen. There is nothing wrong with speaking what you believe. Because of this, I think that Tebow will be successful. He will be divinely influenced in order to prove doubters wrong.
College: Notre Dame
Drafted by: Carolina Panthers
Pick: No. 48 Overall
Now, I am not on the Jimmy Clausen. I don’t believe that he will be a superstar NFL quarterback.
But that’s not what the Panthers need.
They need a functional quarterback.
Clausen is just what Carolina needed. Although Matt Moore played well last season, he is not the quarterback of the future. Jimmy will be able to come in and fill that position.
Instead, Clausen can simply fit into the Carolina offense and make throws when needed. He will not be required or expected to be a superstar, but hopefully perform better than Jake Delhomme.